Menswear is booming. Luckily, the trend for classic, heritage and American-made style means there are plenty of sustainable options for the well-dressed guy who wants to know where his stuff comes from.
For fashion watchers, menswear is officially the market to watch. Formerly in the shadows of womenswear, industry experts report that growth in sales of men’s fashion outpaced that of womenswear for the past two years. The trend is most pronounced in the U.S–the world’s largest apparel market–but booming markets in India and China look set to compound exploding consumer demand.
What’s spurring men’s sudden interest in dressing well? It’s no secret that the accessibility of the Internet has fueled the democratization of womenswear; now everyone seems to know everything about designers and fashionable celebrities, where previously few only a few insiders had the scoop on the latest styles. Influential style blogs have succeeded in attracting a broader male audience than print magazines managed.
In addition to a new generation of men wanting to learn about modern, slimmer fits, new color combinations, fabric interplays and the basics of getting dressed online, men’s shopping habits are perfectly suited to e-tailing. If you’ve ever dragged a man around a busy shopping mall, you’d know that most men regard shopping as a chore to be avoided at all costs. Less interested in the exploration of shopping than women, online shopping gives men a straightforward and time-saving solution to buying clothes.
The good news is that great menswear will always have more to do with style than fashion, lending itself to well-crafted design and artisanal approaches. In fact, womenswear could learn a lot from the menswear tradition of creating a wardrobe foundation based on style classics like well-made suits or blazers in high quality fabrics.
In addition to thrift stores, which are full of high-quality menswear, there are many locally-made, vegan and sustainable style options for men looking to experiment more with new colors, silhouettes and accessories. Here are some of our favorites places to find them:
1. Northern Grade: A mobile pop-up menswear market open to the public consumer and showing only well-made items from brands manufacturing products in the United States. Check out their site to find the next market happening near you to find everything you need from clothing, footwear and grooming supplies.
2. BraveGentleMan – The online shop from Joshua Katcher, the editor of ethical men’s lifestyle blog, The Discerning Brute. A well curated collection of the very best men’s designers, brands, and lifestyle products that are sustainably produced in fair-labor conditions and 100 percent vegan.
3. Taylor Stitch – An independent San Francisco outfitter and store that specializes in designing locally made and well-crafted staples for the modern man. Every Wednesday morning they release a new collection.
4. A QUESTION OF - A sustainable street fashion brand that produces clean and playful designs on t-shirts, sweatshirts and shirts only using GOTS-certified organic cotton.
Top Image: Taylor Stitch